What’s coming to WSSOPS in February

I’ve been working hard adding more information to my Windows SharePoint Operations Guide. In February subscribers will find information about an addition migration technique that is particularly handy when you want to merge the content of two SharePoint sites together. There is also a new section covering recommended SharePoint books not only for administrators but also for users. As well there is information site columns and creating additional document library templates.


I like to think part of the value of the Guide is that fact it gets updated with more information every month. So when you get the Guide you not only get all the information it currently contains (plus the other benefits) but also updated information (and any additional benefits) that come along for the period of subscription.


And you never know, there maybe some more special offers coming real soon, so stay tuned.

Get well Steve

For those that don’t know, Steve Jobs of Apple fame is taking a leave of absence due to health reasons.


He’s an inspiration guy who has endured many reincarnations, trials and tribulations.

If you haven’t heard the speech he gave at Stanford University a few years ago then I’d suggest you have a look here:

No matter whether you love or hate the guy, you have to admit that the IT industry would all the poorer without a personality like Steve Jobs. He has given us so many IT icons, from the Apple II, to the Mac, to the iPod and iPhone and more. I think any serious observer has to admire what he has created and his ability to create innovative products that appeal to masses.


Steve Jobs has faced adversity before and overcome. He faced serious issues before and overcome. I wish him all the best in this latest battle and compel everyone else to do the same because a world in which Steve Jobs is not an active player is a world a more ‘innovation-poor’.


All the best Steve and get well soon!

Too hard

I’ve been reading the news about the latest worm that has now infected 8.9 million machines. Now if you believe the reports:


From an estimated 2.4 million infected machines to over 8.9 million during the last four days. That’s just amazing.” – CRN Australia

“It is the most serious large scale worm outbreak we have seen in recent years because of how widespread it is” – CNN

Now how can that be? IT companies spend so much of their time reinforcing to clients that they need to update their machines. Many have already put in place automated patching tools and still the number of infections rises faster than ever before. How can this be? The vulnerability was patched last October by Microsoft yet it goes to show how few systems out there are being patched regularly.


Many would point the finger at home users who rarely update their machines. I must say that I agree with that assessment because most of the students I ask in my IT courses never update their machines. This attitude makes us all vulnerable. Is it their fault for not patching or someone else’s for making it too hard?


Doesn’t it strike anyone else that things are not getting better they appear to be getting worse? For all the banging on IT people do about security each new worm outbreak happens faster every time. How can people have confidence in our connected world if so many machines can be compromised so quickly? Sure, maybe these report are over blown and maybe the infection does do that much ‘damage’  but don’t you get the feeling it is only a matter of time?


Clearly, keeping systems up to date is simply too hard for the vast majority of users. Clearly, the message about IT security is not getting through. Clearly, many people have no idea that their machines have been compromised. Clearly we need to do something. Clearly it seems, everything we have tried so far hasn’t worked! Any ideas?

Hidden information

I am currently reading a fascination book called “Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means” by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi. This was also after reading “Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature and Daily Life” by Steven H. Strogatz, which I didn’t find as good as Linked but none the less is still very interesting and a recommended read.

I’ve found that Barabasi’s book is far easier to read and understand and for me is more consistently interesting. One of the interesting concepts it talks about is the fact that most search engines can only index 40% of the web. The reason for this can be perhaps be explained by the following diagram from the book.

 In the central core are all the most common web sites that can be navigated from other web sites in the core. To the left are the “In Continent” web sites. These sites allow you to navigate to the web sites in the core but not back to the “In Continent” area. Likewise, the “Out Continent” web sites can be located via links from the core but don’t allow a return path. You also have smaller islands of web sites are separated from all areas.

We all tend to believe that the popular search engines fully index the Web. We expect that when we do a search we receive results from every web page on the Net. The more I read Linked the more I understand that the Web is not a random place, rather a network that is governed by links and their popularity, which develop in a way very different from what we expect.

Linked doesn’t only deal with computer networks it also applies its discoveries to things like social networks which has got me thinking. How many of us believe that we are truly “linked in” when we are in fact simply an island with a very small number of contacts? How many of us actually work to improve the number of social connections we have? Because these give us access to so much more information.

It is clear that the reason why Facebook and other social networking platforms have become so popular because they tap into this leveraging ability. However, I don’t think that you need to have Facebook to achieve this I must say. There are plenty of old fashion ways to move yourself closer to the core of information.

Anyone who is successful is always looking to boost their access to information. What are you doing?

Communicate like crazy

Many businesses are unlikely to have experienced a downturn like what we can expect to deal with this year. I have come across the following article “How to manage your business in a recession” by Fortune Magazine. There are 10 worthwhile suggestions about how you can go about managing in tough times, however I think the one that struck me as having the most relevance was “Communicate like crazy, balancing realism and optimism”.


It seems to me that during ‘challenging times’ most businesses tend to batten down the hatches and hope for the best. They tend to make responses which isolate themselves from the business community that helped them succeed during good times. During ‘tough times’ employees, customers and so on also share similar fears. Failing to provide information about your situation and direction only heightens those fears. Alternatively, providing unrealistic information can be just as bad because it is clear that every business is going to be affected by the poor economic conditions, so trying to tell people otherwise is just plain stupid.


There is nothing worse than not knowing, because most people only assume the worst. It is therefore important that part of any business strategy going forward is to ensure the lines of regular communication stay open. Whether that be printed newsletters, email marketing, town meetings, on site customer meetings, support groups, whatever, now is the time to ensure that you actually do more! Now is the perfect time, for example, to form greater alliances with your business peers to find out what they are doing to cope. If you stick your head in the sand you are pretty much guaranteeing that you are going to have little or no support when you need it.


I also like this from the final part of the article, “[m]arathoners and Tour de France racers will tell you that a race’s hardest parts, the uphill stages, are where the lead changes hands. That’s where we are now. When the recession ends, when the road levels off and world seems full of promise once more, you position in the competitive pack will depend on how skilfully you manage right now”. Your skill is a direct measure of ability to learn. So seek out those who have the skills you desire and learn, baby learn.


I’m happy to say that The Computer information Agency is now providing gift certificates for referrals. This means that if you recommend our products or services you are entitled to a reward.

For example, if you recommend our Windows SharePoint Operations Guide to someone who purchases it then we’ll provide you with a $20 gift certificate from Amazon or a $25 gift certificate from Kiva.

For those who aren’t aware, Kiva is an organization that makes micro-loans to the very poor. I have spoken about this in a previous blog post and believe that it is really excellent way to help people overcome poverty. Even better it allows your donation to continue to work and help others. It feel strongly that even though we maybe feeling a ‘financial pinch’ currently there are many for are far worse off and we should be doing more to help.

Remember, all you have to do is recommend our products and services to someone else and when they taken them up you’ll get a reward. You can choose to reward yourself or help someone else in need, the choice is yours.

Further confirmation

It is never a good idea to dwell on the negatives but I’d like to firstly point out the reality here. In December the US lost over 500,000 full times jobs. This brought the job losses in 2008 to the greatest since World War II (almost 2.6 million). To me, there still seems to be an air of ‘it can’t happen here’ in Australia. Well the sorry news is that it is! As the article “Massive drop in full-time jobs” notes:


“The massive decline in full-time employment, down nearly 44,000 it’s a big worry”

The reality is that no matter what business are you in you need to start making changes simply because the environment is changing. Failing to do so may mean you eventually end up failing as well.


As they say,”you can’t control your circumstances only your reaction to them”. That’s why it is important to try and focus on the positive. Every market present opportunities, it is just a matter or recognizing these. In many cases this may mean stepping outside the normal comfort zone, which can sometimes be very hard.


The major secret is that you need to talk with people. Discuss things with your family, friends and your peers. You need to be constantly seeking out people smarter than you and considering their advice. You need to develop goals, short, medium and long if you want to prosper. Most people are happy to help where they can, so take advantage of that to lighten the load. If you put your head in the sand then no-one (including yourself) can help you.


Get out there and starting utilizing and growing your support network.

Wanna see something truly amazing?

It’s hard these days to really find a technology that blows my mind. Most of the stuff is normally just an upgrade or evolution of what is already out there. Sure some stuff is gee whiz but there ain’t much HOLY COW anymore.

Well take a look at this and I’m sure you’ll agree this stuff is truly amazing.

Firstly, watch the presentation of the technology at :


then visit the following to see it in operation for yourself.


I would try and describe what it is but the presentation and the site do a much better job.